As London Fashion Week winds down, I think we can see that ethical thinking is becoming more and more important in the industry. Esthetica has celebrated it's fifth birthday in style, with a ton of media interest. The pressure clearly needs to be kept on a high boil.
A new book by author Safia Minney, Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution highlights the massive changes that are underway, and what else we need to do. The tone is upbeat, while not stinting on the harsh, cruel realities that go into feeding our hunger for cheap clothes. The statistics make for a horrifying read. 1.5 million tonnes of unwanted clothes and textiles end up in landfill every year. A lot of the fashion that ends up at the tip does so unworn - a victim of the endless chase for the new thing, this season's look.
Safia makes two key recommendations in her book, both of which seem perfectly, almost laughably reasonable. Spend a little less, spend a little more. The key to sustainability is to buy less often, but on slightly more expensive key pieces that will last you for longer. This is an approach that Pier Crush Vivienne Westwood has long championed, and who are we to argue with her?
We will always want cheap clothes, but the cost is higher than we think. Workers in the third-world countries where these clothes are put together struggle to make ends meet, and a tiny increase in the price tag of many items - less than a quid - would guarantee a proper wage for them. That doesn't seem like much to ask to me.
This book is an essential read if you're interested in how fashion moves forward into the 21st century. Naked Fashion highlights the issues, the problems, and more importantly the simple solutions that we can all implement with barely a thought to make the world of fashion just that little bit more fabulous.
Naked Fashion is available now from Amazon.